The thought of leaving a child in the care of someone else can leave a parent feeling anxious and concerned for their safety. When daycare is the only feasible option, there are a number of safety hazards that parents should be aware of when researching in order to find a facility that will be the right fit.
The staff to child ratio should be low, ideally one caregiver for every three children (1:3), and support staff do not count. Anytime a group of children does not have enough adult supervision, it is unsafe. Infants, toddlers, and young children must remain in sight at all times. Questions to ask, include:
Properly trained staff, who have had extensive background and criminal screenings, is an optimal way to improve safety and prevent injuries. Observe staff members to make certain that health and safety rules are being followed. Ask the following questions:
Extraordinary care must be taken when medications are administered. Any instance of carelessness or improper dosage can be dangerous and potentially fatal. If medication must be given while your child is in daycare, write down instructions and give the facility the medicine in its original container that possesses the dosage instructions. Remind staff members often of the proper dosage. If your child has allergies, ensure that all caregivers are aware of them. Some questions to ask, are:
Daycare members must be trained in safe sleep practices with polices in place, as the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) still exists. Questions to ask, include:
Accidental poisoning can cause injury or death in young children. Ask the facility director:
Look over play areas to ensure cleanliness and check to make sure any equipment used is in good condition.
Children should be kept home whenever they are sick as germs are easily passed at daycare centers. For that reason, proper cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting policies and practices should be in place. The following questions are recommended:
It is vitally important for a daycare center to have an emergency plan in place in case of a fire, natural disaster, violence, or abuse. Parents should ask the following questions:
Before visiting a particular daycare facility, check that they are a licensed operation. Detailed instructions on how to do so for a New York childcare center can be found here.
Finding out your child has been injured is every parent’s worst nightmare. When an injury occurs as a result of daycare negligence, it’s important that those at fault are held responsible and accountable for their actions. Find out your legal rights and options by contacting Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. We offer free consultations, call (212) 732-9000 today.